Staff spotlight: Senior healthcare assistant

Staff spotlight - Jessica

Jessica is a senior healthcare assistant at Southampton Children's Hospital. We got to hear all about how she followed her passion and how she got to be where she is today.

What made you want to start your career in nursing?

After completing my Level 3 in childcare, I started working in a day nursery and progressed to deputy manager. I had various other responsibilities and also gained a foundation degree in early years while I was working there.

I had been interested in nursing since college but chose to go into a job rather than go to university. If I'm honest, I lacked the confidence to go to university so I didn't go for what I really dreamed of. I knew I liked working with children, wanted to earn a living and I loved working in a nursery so it was easy to settle down with this career.

So, how did you get into healthcare?

In June 2018 I had one of the biggest changes to my life, I had my little boy. I realised I was still interested in developing my career in a hospital and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

I applied in the November for a role as a healthcare assistant University Hospital Southampton and a week later I was on my way to an interview! I told them all about my interest in working in paediatrics however they didn't have any vacancies at the time, I was encouraged to keep my eyes open for any opportunities that might come up in the future. The day after my interview, I was delighted to be offered a job on the acute medical unit working with adults.

How did you find settling into your new role as a healthcare assistant?

I started my role in February 2019, understandably it was a massive change from nursery work however I thrived in the busy environment. I learnt so much from the team and I really enjoyed working there, everyone was so supportive and my colleagues were amazing.

Did you keep your eyes peeled for opportunities in paediatrics?

I started to keep an eye on the jobs available in the children's hospital in May and within a month I had applied for a band 3 senior healthcare assistant on the paediatric medical unit. A couple of weeks later I had an interview and I received some great feedback, I was then over the moon to offered the job.

That must have been really exciting for you, especially landing yourself the job that you originally wanted - and in such a short amount of time. How have you found it so far?

I've just recently started my new role. It is so different to working with adults but I absolutely love working with children again. It was definitely the right move for me. I'm so fortunate to have been able to progress so quickly and I'm really enjoying learning lots of new skills.

 Want to find out more about becoming a healthcare assistant? Click here.